Reading about illegal acts of torture and murder can be plenty unsettling, but seeing and/or hearing it actually take place is far more disturbing. For various reasons, some criminals have actually recorded themselves committing vile acts, thereby providing authorities with evidence of their guilt. This list features ten of the most significant cases in which men and women recorded their crimes. This is truly the stuff of nightmares, and we’re not linking to any of the videos. You want to see them? Find them yourself.
10. The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel
Anneliese Michel, a young Catholic German woman, exhibited strange behaviors toward the end of her life. Claiming to be possessed by Nero, Hitler, and other “demons,” she made strange faces, suffered seizures, and demonstrated an aversion to holy symbols, such as the crucifix. Although her family attempted to treat her medically, they gave up when her symptoms continued anyway. They enlisted Fathers Arnold Renz and Ernst Alt to perform an exorcism, which the priests recorded on audio tapes, which can be listened to online.
The strange noises made by Michel as her priests try to free her of her claimed possession are downright chilling, whether you believe they be demonic in nature or just the ravings of a schizophrenic. In any event, these efforts to cleanse her failed, as she endured almost a year of semi-starvation and dehydration. You can see her emaciated form in photographs available online.
Unsurprisingly her malnourished body gave out on July 1, 1976. Both Michel’s parents and the two priests were charged with negligent homicide. They were convicted of manslaughter and given a suspended sentence of six months in jail. Her story inspired the film The Exorcism of Emily Rose and is easily one of the most famous exorcisms in Christian history.
9. Leonard Lake and Charles Ng
Leonard Lake and Charles Chi-Tat Ng are two of the most infamous raping and murdering duos in modern history. Their crimes have included rape, torture, and murder of anywhere from eleven to twenty-five victims all between 1983 and 1985. The two spent their time together bringing victims to their ranch, where they deluded themselves into believing that they would be the survivors of a nuclear war, and would use sex slaves to repopulate the world as part of what they dubbed “Operation Miranda.”
Their downfall came when Ng was caught shoplifting, and Lake was arrested for possessing an illegal silencer on a firearm discovered by police in his car. Authorities subsequently discovered numerous bodies of men, women, and even a baby buried on their ranch. To add to the horror, but to better confirm Lake and Ng’s guilt, was the discovery of video tapes of their crimes, some of which can be viewed online. These tapes do not show the murders, but they do suggest the sexual and mental abuse of their female victims. One woman even asks about her baby, only to be told by Lake that its “going to be taken away.” Lake escaped court justice by committing suicide (he swallowed a cyanide capsule after his arrest,) while Ng is currently on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California.
8. Prince Yormie Johnson
Liberia’s twenty-first president Samuel Kanyon Doe is not exactly a sympathetic figure, coming to power after a violent coup toppled previous president William Richard Tolbert, Jr.
Given the bloody rise to power of Doe, it should hardly surprise anyone that his fall was equally bloody. When that fall came, about ten years after his coming to power, a man named Prince Yormie Johnson captured Doe after Doe lost a gun battle against the rebel forces. A relatively lengthy video of Doe’s subsequent torment, as well as various photographs of his torture and murder, are available on the internet. One video, for example, shows a Budweiser-drinking Johnson watching as a partially unclothed and bloody Doe has his ear cut off. His nude corpse, surrounded by armed men, can be seen in a notable black and white photograph readily available online.
7. Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka
Canadian serial killers Paul Kenneth Bernardo and wife Karla Leanne Homolka are responsible for various sexual assaults and at least three murders, including Karla’s sister, Tammy. The video-taped portion of their crimes, known as the Schoolgirl Killer murders, includes the rape of Tammy. Reportedly the tapes show Homolka sexually assaulting four females and drugging at least one unconscious victim. Reports of what these tapes contain is shocking to say the least, and the tapes do serve as crucial evidence in support of the two perpetrators’ convictions. Bernardo received a sentence of twenty-five years without the possibility of parole, while Homolka was sentenced to twelve years. In the aftermath of the trial, Canadian authorities determined that they had no possible future use for the videotapes, and so destroyed all six videotapes depicting the torture and rape of the duo’s various victims.
6. The Master Butcher
German cannibal Armin Meiwes’s crime involved a bafflingly willing victim, Bernd Jürgen Brandes. Meiews and Brandes met via website “The Cannibal Café,” which is exactly what it sounds like. They agreed to video tape Meiews consuming Brandes. This tape has not been released to the public but, if you must, you can see a reenactment in the movie Grimm Love.
What is allegedly on the actual tape is mind-blowing. For example, Meiews tries and fails to bite off Brandes’s penis. So, he cuts it off and both men try to eat it before feeding it to a dog. Meiews finally killed Brandes by stabbing him the throat, before hanging his body on a meat hook. Over the course of several months, Meiews ate much of the fleshy remains of Brandes. Meiewes was eventually arrested, tried, convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to eight years in prison. He was then retried, convicted of murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment, which was probably a wise decision, given that he allegedly still fantasized about eating flesh.